That’s a really important clarification thanks vavilovian_mimic. Here in nz I noticed informal comments in the Australian fire news like “This is rainforest burning…this is usually a lush green area”…which had a big impact on my perception of the fires (sorry I failed to note what area the comments were about).
Here in New Zealand people have always told me that Australia has “bushfires” because the trees are mostly Eucalyptus, which are very flammable and burn hot, i believe. Is Eucalyptus part of the NSW subtropical rainforest?
Throughout this current disaster, whenever Sydney or NSW has been mentioned I have recalled visiting in 1974 the dense, deeply shaded forest of a National Park on the outskirts of Sydney (NSW). From memory it was entirely green, with no signs of dryness or undue heat.
Is forest like that burning or burnt? If so, the heat of the fire must have been really intense to have ignited it? (according to what I was once told here in answer to my concern when travelling here in NZ during summer drought along a narrow winding highway through miles of dense forest on both sides of a gorge).
In Australia, the heat build up from the (perpetually?) arid interior of the vast continent, combined with the heat of the increasing area of fire,presumably played a part in enabling the coastal subtropical rainforest to catch fire? Or had the rainforest become dry enough to burn anyway? if the latter, how obvious was the change in appearance of the forest prior to the fires?
I hope this doesn’t sound too detached, ie unfeeling. On the contrary, as you might have surmised, I am trying to get more idea of the present or future increased vulnerabiility of New Zealand subtropical rainforest to fire.